James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Miami Dolphins fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and get all your NFL news before it hits the national media.
Week 11 has come and gone, and by now most of you know whether you are in or out of the fantasy playoffs that start in Week 14 for most. Hopefully you are one of the faithful readers here and thus in the playoffs, while your friends go to one of those big-box websites for their info and are either clinging to the final playoff spot, or out of them all together.
On the Bengals front, the fantasy defense finished Week 11 as NFL.com’s No. 1-ranked defense with 25.00 fantasy points thanks to their four sacks, three interceptions, recovered fumble, two defensive touchdowns and 14 points allowed.
Carson Palmer – QB, Cardinals: As my emails and social media questioners know, I was big on Palmer as a fill-in QB for those who had questions at the position this week. I wanted to put him on the start list, and should have ahead of Case Keenum, but that is a woulda, coulda, shoulda situation. Palmer went out and torched the seemingly-helpless Jaguars for 419 yards passing and 2 touchdowns Sunday. Palmer has played better the last couple of weeks and has a solid fantasy playoff schedule with the Rams and Titans in Weeks 14 and 15. The Cardinals face the Seahawks in Week 16, so I’d cut him loose before that game.
Matthew McGloin – QB, Raiders: Only in Oakland could a guy throw for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns against a somewhat solid defense and have the coach refuse to name him the starter over a guy that has thrown twice as many INTs as he has TDs! With that being said, McGloin finished sixth on NFL.com for fantasy QBs this week and is sure to be an interesting QB2 next week against the Titans. I wouldn’t put too much faith in him just yet, but a speculation add is certainly not a bad move.
Bobby Rainey – RB, Buccaneers: Well, one player in the Bucs backfield solidified himself a job while the other watched his role slip away. Rainey was the winner, and Brian Leonard was the loser as it were. Rainey finished No. 1 overall this week on NFL.com thanks to his 163 yards rushing and 3 TDs. However, fantasy owners need to understand that this is a lock to go down as his career high in both yards and touchdowns as the Bucs don’t play the Jaguars this season, and he will enter next season as a roster bubble player in camp. As for this season, I’d put Rainey in the flex range next week against the Lions, and a full sit ‘em the following week against the Panthers.
Donald Brown – RB, Colts: The Colts have a way of making RBs look very average, no matter who they are. They traded for Trent Richardson and now there are rumors of Donald Brown supplanting him as the starter after Brown finished with 94 total yards and 2 TDs on Thursday night. I’ve seen WAY too many fantasy owners running to the waiver wire and picking up Brown since Thursday night, which by the way is a textbook example of chasing fantasy points. No Colts official has said that there will be a switch on the depth chart, and even the Colts beat writers are not saying anything about a switch coming. Brown finished as NFL.com’s No. 4-ranked RB this week, but I would let him be someone else’s headache going forward. And, let’s be honest, if Brown is looking like a great pickup off the waiver wire, you are already out of the fantasy playoffs and it doesn’t matter anyway.
Michael Floyd – WR, Cardinals: Floyd came into this week with a shoulder injury that worried some, but not me. You see, I firmly believe that you can basically play whomever the Jaguars face and be right more times than you are wrong. Floyd had a career day as he finished with 6 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown. Floyd is really more of a boom-or-bust player than a true fantasy starter, so play him only in the right matchups to finish out the season.
Jarius Wright – WR, Vikings: Wright drew the start in place of Greg Jennings (Achilles) and made a name for himself as he made the most out of his start by reeling in 3 passes for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns. While the 2 TDs are nice, the 3 catches tell you all you need to know about Wright and his fantasy value. Jennings is expected to take the field for Week 12, pushing Wright back to the bench. Wright is virtually unowned in NFL.com leagues, but I am positive I will hear from at least 10 people who say they started him this week!
Garrett Graham – TE, Texans: Graham put up his best game of the season as he was targeted 13 times, which resulted in 7 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. He did lose a fumble, but with TE being an all-or-nothing position anyway, Graham was still able to finish as NFL.com’s No. 1 fantasy TE.
Buffalo Bills Defense: I got more than a few emails and social media comments saying I was crazy for picking the Bills defense considering they are ranked No. 16 this season on NFL.com and owned in just 10.8 percent of their leagues. However, the Bills finished as NFL.com’s No. 2-ranked defense this week after racking up 4 sacks, 3 INTs, a recovered fumble, scoring a defensive touchdown and holding the Jets to just 14 points. The Bills are on a bye next week then face the Falcons in Week 13, so I wouldn’t hold on to them unless you have people in your league that hoard defenses.
Drew Brees – QB, Saints: While Brees did hit the 300-yard mark (305), he only threw for a single touchdown while also throwing an interception. While that isn’t exactly terrible, the -1 rushing yard and lack of multiple TDs really hurt him on NFL.com and he finished as their 16th-ranked QB this week. You might think that it was just NFL.com and some fluke scoring system that put him that low, but on Yahoo.com he finished ranked No. 14 in their vanilla standard scoring format.
Peyton Manning – QB, Broncos: Manning is mortal after all! While he did throw for 323 yards Sunday night, he only managed one touchdown and lost a fumble, resulting in a No. 13 overall ranking for Week 11 at the QB position. Remember, yards are fine and good, but touchdowns are usually king when it comes to QBs, and Manning didn’t throw enough of them to be worth starting in standard 12-team leagues this week.
C.J. Spiller – RB, Bills: Spiller continued his enormous fantasy bust season in Week 11 as he finished with 13 carries for 6 yards (0.5 YPC) and 2 catches for 10 yards. Thankfully the Bills have a bye next week and that will force fantasy owners to do what they should have done weeks ago, bench him. You can’t cut him because the waiver wire is a barren wasteland at this point, and you can’t trade him because your league’s trade deadline has most likely passed. So, chalk him up as a bust and move on.
Andre Eillington – RB, Cardinals: It is looking more and more likely that Ellington saw his value peak in Week 8 against the Falcons as he was held to just 3 yards rushing and 10 yards receiving on Sunday. The Jaguars actually did a good job getting to Ellington and wrapping him up before he could do any damage. Ellington isn’t worth playing at the moment with Rashard Mendenhall in the mix and getting the red zone touches.
Percy Harvin – WR, Seahawks: Remember when I said on Friday not to play Harvin this week? Well, he showed why on Sunday as he finished with a single catch for 17 yards and no end zone visits. The good news is that the Seahawks have a bye in Week 12, meaning Harvin shouldn’t be on any snap count in Week 13. He looked good handling kickoffs this week and moved without any problems when on the field, so I have no problems saying right now that he will be on my Start ‘em list for Week 13.
Brandon Marshall – WR, Bears: The Bears are still without starting QB Jay Cutler, meaning backup Josh McCown is tasked with leading the team into the playoffs for now. Marshall saw 10 targets on Sunday, but was only able to haul in 4 passes for 42 yards and no touchdowns. Marshall had a bad week, but the Bears get the Vikings in Week 13, the Cowboys in Week 14, and then the Eagles in Week 16, so the future is looking bright for fantasy owners. Now might be the time to try and buy low on Marshall before your league’s trade deadline passes (most commonly on Wednesday).
Jordan Reed – TE, Redskins: The list for fantasy busts at TE could go on and on for Week 11, but Reed tops the list. Reed suffered a somewhat mysterious concussion and left the game early, thus finishing with just one catch for 12 yards. I said mysterious because I didn’t see him take any hits that would cause a concussion, and he wasn’t on the ground after a play was over. Either way, Reed will have to get cleared before he can play in Week 13, so check back throughout the week to see what his status is.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense: The Chiefs are no longer undefeated, and their defensive fantasy owners got a taste of that medicine Sunday night as they allowed 27 points to the Broncos and managed just a single fumble recovery for defensive stats. The Chiefs sit as the No. 23-ranked defense for Week 11 with the Panthers and Patriots still left to play, so they could very well be pushed even further down this week after the Monday Night Football game. I warned you, so hopefully you listened.